Republicans Then vs. Republicans Now

Here is the Republican party platform from 1956. It's very worth reading, for the stark contrast to the party's platform in 2012.

The latest version of the proposed 2012 Republican Platform was erroneously posted on the RNC website yesterday and quickly pulled. You can read it here. Here are summaries by the Washington Post and LA Times.

Shorter version of the comparisons: A party that has gone to hell in a handbasket in the last 50 years. [More...]

On Romney's joke about no one asking to see his birth certificate: Maybe not, but there was plenty of talk about the birther issue when his father George Romney, who was born in Mexico, ran for the Republican nomination against Nixon in 1967.

A two-term Michigan governor, George Romney faced questions about his eligibility to run for president in 1968 because he wasn't born in the United States. Yet, George was born a U.S. citizen, not Mexican, because his parents were U.S. citizens.... in those days, Mexico didn't grant dual citizenship so the parents had to choose one country or the other.

Romney says his birth certificate remark was just a joke. Personal jabs cast as humor seem to be typical Romney fare. When Romney was campaigning against McCain and Giuliani in 2007, at a GOP dinner in Missouri, his wife Anne introduced him saying:

The biggest difference between her husband and the other candidates, Ann Romney said, is that "he's had only one wife."

Back to the anticipated Republican platform: Hopefully, like a Bat out of Hell, it will be gone when the morning comes -- the morning after election day.

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    interesting. (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:18:38 PM EST
    actually, a close reading of the 1956 republican party platform shows that, with respect to issues economic, they haven't actually changed all that much. lower taxes, balanced budgets, greater defense spending (and less gov't regulation). sound at all familiar? it should, it was also ronald reagan's basic platform, in 1980. then, as now, basic economics reared its ugly head: you cannot realistically accomplish all three of those goals, simultaneously, it just can't be done. a first year econ major can tell you that. but then, we have two nobel prize winning economists, who've been pointing out that basic truth for years now. and being ignored by a republican party that lives in a fiscal fantasy world.

    this was the republican party that sought counsel from the author of the great depression, herbert hoover (great engineer, lousy economist), regarding national budget issues. i am not impressed. of course, pres. hoover (and his hoovervilles, i guess) would be welcome at the current republican conclave, in tampa.

    did you read the parts (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:38:58 PM EST
    about social justice? Immigration?


    The Republican Party supports an immigration policy which is in keeping with the traditions of America in providing a haven for oppressed peoples, and which is based on equality of treatment, freedom from implications of discrimination between racial, nationality and religious groups, and flexible enough to conform to changing needs and conditions.

    We believe that such a policy serves our self-interest, reflects our responsibility for world leadership and develops maximum cooperation with other nations in resolving problems in this area.

    Under Health Education and Welfare, it supports:

    increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.


    The Republican Party is determined to press all such actions that will help insure that every child has the educational opportunity to advance to his own greatest capacity.

    On labor, it pledges to support:

    The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm

    and to

    Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;

    Another comparison... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:36:34 PM EST
    Today: Obama vs Romney.
    In 1956: Eisenhower vs Stevenson.

    Jeralyn, (2.00 / 1) (#10)
    by justincaselawgic on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 08:48:51 AM EST
    Comparing 1956 to now is not apples to apples. How much were we spending on medical care for the needy as it related to the federal budget in 1956? Medicaid didn't even exist until 1965. How much do we spend now? As a whole, which includes government spending and spending by private citizens, we spend 16% of our GDP on healthcare, by far the most compared to every other country.

    Same thing with education. The U.S. Dept of Education has been around, in some form or another, since the late 1860's. However, its current manifestation and exploded budget began in 1979. Since 1979, the DoE has continued to spend Billions, while seeing little, if any, progress. We spend more on education than any other individual country in the world. Sweden is always talked about as an example to follow. Forgetting that our demographics are vastly different, the last time I checked, we spent over 6x what Sweden spends on per pupil spending. Funding is definitely not our problem here. It is much, much deeper.

    When it comes to unions, there is a difference between public and private unions. In 1956, private unions were reaching their peak. Since then, they've declined and public sector unions, as a whole, have the most members. The two largest unions in the country are the NEA and SEIU with over 4 million members between them.


    Apples to imaginary oranges (none / 0) (#11)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 10:44:26 AM EST
    We spend more on education than any other individual country in the world. Sweden is always talked about as an example to follow. Forgetting that our demographics are vastly different, the last time I checked, we spent over 6x what Sweden spends on per pupil spending. Funding is definitely not our problem here. It is much, much deeper.

    Leaving aside the issue of exchange rates, relative per pupil spending is not even close to what you're claiming.  The latest numbers show that per pupil spending in Sweden was $5,648, while in the US it was $7,764 - about 1.37X higher.  Moreover, Sweden's number doesn't reflect costs that large expenses for healthcare and pension costs that are externalized in many countries (like Sweden).


    Forgot (none / 0) (#12)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 11:08:23 AM EST
    The figures (none / 0) (#13)
    by justincaselawgic on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:08:54 PM EST
    you provided are over 10 years old. Having said that, my original 6x estimation was wrong. It is probably still closer to the percentage you gave, but we spend, on average, over $10,000 per pupil now, with some states spending, on average, over $15,000 per pupil. I say probably because current accurate figures for Sweden are hard to come by. The exchange rates have been calculated in the figure you provided as well as other sources I've seen. Sweden uses the Krona which is about 1/7th the value of the U.S. Dollar, so if, according to the link you provided, Sweden spends $5648, they're spending close to 40,000 SEK.

    Your argument on externalization of certain other costs could very well be true, but I just haven't seen any data spelling that out.

    If we were to come to a compromise about the funding by taking the verified higher spending on our part and eliminate that due to some possible externalized expenses on Sweden's part, then we could say that we spend about as much as Sweden does. Fair enough? The argument of needed additional spending on our part is still lacking in that scenario and there still remains the deeper reason why Sweden seems to be doing better in education than we are.


    The point behind my figures ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 02:31:45 PM EST
    ... was not to reflect an actual current spending level, but just to point out that there is no way the US is spending 6X the amount spent in Sweden.  Claims that sound incredible usually turn out to be just that.  I could look for more current numbers, but the point is made.

    Apart from the problems with comparing averages on standardized tests such as PISA (exchange rates, different externalities - BTW, I don't know what "data" you would want to establish that U.S. schools pay for their teachers healthcare costs while many other countries such as Sweden provide healthcare to their citizens, including teachers, as part of a system outside of "education expenses")), there are a number of reasons why the U.S. average is lower than most of these other countries.  Probably the biggest factor is poverty.  See "PISA, it's poverty not stupid".  U.S. scores are very high except in poor, urban schools and among immigrant children.  When you look at the top-performing countries, they have very low poverty rates, as opposed to the United States, with a poverty rate of 21.7%.  If you control for poverty, the U.S. results are very good.  

    Schools in the United States with less than a 10% poverty rate had a PISA score of 551.  When compared to the ten countries with similar poverty numbers, that score ranked first.    

    As to the reason why comparing national averages on these test scores can be very misleading, there are a number of other reasons, but if we stick with your Swedish example and (per your suggestion) assume the per-pupil-costs are roughly similar, so are the results.  Sweden scored slightly higher in math (494 to 487), the US slightly higher in Science (502 to 495), and the US slightly higher overall (500 to 497) - all without any adjustment for Sweden's much lower poverty rate.


    is this current or former? (none / 0) (#5)
    by womanwarrior on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:23:06 AM EST
    Sorry, haven had time to read it all.

    i did. (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:36:49 AM EST
    and i stand by my initial post. the parts about reducing taxes, deregulation, etc. are, as they were then, part of the basic republican platform. i specifically did not mention the other stuff, because that's not what i was focusing on.

    however, since you raised the issue, yes, they were, in their official platform anyway, supportive of those economic safety net issues which form the crux of the present day democratic platform. that said, in actual practice, they wanted (as they had since 1935) to do away with social security. as well, targeting a balanced budget, as a primary policy objective, raises the question of just how sincere they were, regarding their stated support of the social issues. if you're trying to cut gov't spending, while maintaining/increasing defense spending, what programs are going to feel the sharp edge of that knife? hint: it won't be defense spending.

    so yes, it would seem that, on the surface, the official 1956 republican platform would appear to be that of a "kinder, gentler" GOP. the reality is, not so much.


    I was in shock (none / 0) (#8)
    by Amiss on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:05:31 PM EST
    at the differences. It really makes one reflect on how their life has changed. I was 8 years old in 1956.

    Spelling Alert, Jeralyn! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:27:50 PM EST
    You've mangled "Republican" in the post title of this thread, and done a number on "Saturday" in the open thread...

    What are you drinking?  I want some!

    fixed, thanks (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:56:09 PM EST
    not drinking anything, just doing too many things at once. Thanks for the correction, I completely missed it.

    not to worry ms. merritt, i suspect (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:39:48 AM EST
    we're all burdened by an overflowing plate full of things to do. if the worst mistake you make is a spelling error or two, that's pretty darn good.

    go, have a refreshing adult libation.